Here’s a glimpse you might enjoy of the summer world here at school.  Staff members returned the first of August from attending conferences, connecting through Montessori eStudy groups, reading books that support and enrich their work and otherwise immersing themselves in activities and efforts that further integrate last year’s experiences while leading minds, hearts and spirits toward the new school year.  Guides, leaders, and assistants, returned to their classrooms the first week of August and began the monumental annual task of converting mere rooms full of packed up materials into exquisitely prepared developmental learning environments for children, with the able assistance of a great support staff.

We began the second week of August with a gathering of the entire staff at the Gaines Creek campus.  Patricia Oriti led us through a thoughtful and productive orientation and read us a letter from John Snyder reminding us to work in love and joy.  Joseph Aken led us through an exploration of Grace and Courtesy, Montessori’s program of civility and social graces.  Don Goertz announced the good news of our new head of school.  All so informative, refreshing and inspiring–and we toasted the new year with Amber’s green smoothies, part of the staff nutrition initiative!

Throughout the week, various gatherings were held for guides and for support staff according to the ages of children with whom they work. These were for orientation of new staff as well as enrichment and inspiration of veteran staff.  All the while, before, after and in between the gatherings, the entire staff continued the work of last week to complete the reorganization and refreshing of the prepared environments.  They have replaced or remade worn materials and refreshed, cleaned and polished the rest, as well as put in place new parts and pieces. Don Goertz, Joseph Aken, Dawn Glasgow, Amber Miller, Charlotte Kroger, Patricia Oriti, and I have held, led or presented aspects of these

gatherings, supported the preparing of the environment and seen to the repairs of the old and acquisition of new furnishings and materials.

Jerry Pippins and his companions have been here throughout the long hot summer.  They have built or rebuilt, repaired, repainted, restored; cleaned, waxed and polished the furnishings, floors and walls of all our spaces and done their best to see the landscaping through the formidable heat and drought.

That’s a glimpse into the summer activities and endeavors that provide the prepared environments and prepared relationships we count on to support our children’s self-formation and self-education – but many of you parents already know this because you have been around over the summer in classrooms and offices helping us out.

How exciting it is for each of us to experience with you each child’s first day of school, be it to rejoin a community, move up a level to a new community or campus or enter the school for the first time!


Donna Bryant Goertz
Founder, Director Emerita, Resource